Tuesday, November 08, 2005

UofT's Digital Repository

The Autumn 2005 (Vol. 33, No. 1) issue of the University of Toronto Magazine contains an article called "The Infinite Library", written by Devin Crawley, a librarian and writer in Ottawa. The article's introduction reads: "Researchers are welcoming Google's plan to digitize millions of books, but the implications for libraries are profound." Citing "the growing competition between academic libraries and major technology companies, such as Google, Yahoo and Amazon," Crawley talks about how UTL (U of T Libraries) is attempting to teach researchers that there are limits to searching Google Scholar (although Google's logo is front and centre on the UTL home page), and that UTL's resources are more specialized, in-depth and targeted to specific fields. Crawley reports that "over the long term UTL is thinking about new ways that digitized materials can be stored, packaged and delivered." Here is an excerpt:

"As UTL attempts to secure a role for itself in the Google Age, it's reconsidering its traditional reliance on publishers and vendors and beginning to act a little like a publisher itself. Last year, for example, the library developed T-Space, a university-wide digital repository that holds thousands of documents, including course materials and unpublished scholarship that would previously have fallen outside the library's mandate to collect. Modelled on a similar repository developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, T-Space lets students download specialized course materials and allows faculty to post papers and research findings in a public venue without first having to find a publisher."

You can read the article here.

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